Distractions and solutions

Distractions can prevent effective reading and accurate recall.


Take breaks often (approximately five minutes every 30 minutes) to ensure peak concentration.

Have a purpose.

Use a guide, especially if you are feeling tired or if the material is challenging.

Take notes as you read.


Ensure you have fresh air and adequate light. Make yourself as comfortable as possible without feeling sleepy.


The expert at distracting you is you! When your mind wanders you have often not decided to spend the time on a particular task. So, before you begin to read, commit to a certain amount of time and do it. Realize that you are in control.


Daylight is best. If there is none, then there should not be too much contrast between the light under which you are working and the rest of the room. This helps prevent eyestrain. The main source of light should come over the shoulder opposite your writing hand.


Underline unfamiliar words. Look up the words at the end of the paragraph, page, section or as appropriate. This improves your comprehension and your vocabulary. The better your vocabulary, the faster your reading will be.